I can see things like this in either view. It really depends on what it is. I see the concepts in pictures, such as capitalism as a money sack in the hands of a rich man, and socialism as 3 equal sized money sacks being held by 3 normal looking people. However, the battle I see in pros and cons of both in terms of lists. Does that make sense?
If you were to shoot a mime, would you use a silencer?
I don't have any mental imagery of any kind, so I will have to say 'no'.
Closest I come is an inherant knowledge of how something 'is', its' dimensions, texture, material, composition, stuff like that I just know, like how big it should be roughly, in terms of size, though not in terms of measured criteria... so like I'd know it'd be say... waist high on me but not how large that is in feet/inches/meters.
So while I'll know how it'll look and how it SHOULD be, I won't really "see" it either. Means I know things when I see them and can describe things in very intricate detail, but have difficulties visualizing from memory.
That being said, complex abstract ideas, I think about... as... complex abstracts. I don't know how else to describe it other than a detailed listing of pros and cons, points and counterpoints, except it's not spoken, written or in any language, it's just 'known'.
All I can figure is my brain didn't quite finish developing correctly and still thinks of things in its' default mode before sight and language were introduced as methods to sort information in a less nonsensical manner. Very possibly related to my short memory span.
It doesn't matter if they're right. If they can't proove they're right, then they're wrong. No matter how right they may be.
These are the first images that came to mind when thinking of your example (capitalism versus socialism). The images are not in contention until I look again at the word "versus".
Capitalism : A blacksmith bent over an anvil as sparks fly from his hammer, mind and body focused to the task - to shape his own fortune.
Socialism : A horizon cluttered with small identical homes. The inhabitants share a common goal; a contest to accomplish the least for the most reward.
Since my thoughts tend to primarily take the form of images and concepts it can be difficult to to converse with people about things of middling importance. Small talk is relatively easy - there are formulas and specific rules to follow. In-depth conversations about topics of interest to me require only modest effort if I have already begun to distill the images into words.
In most day to day conversations, I sense others becoming frustrated as I search for the correct words to express myself.
There is a sort of "soundtrack" of words floating there in my mind behind the images.
It can be a struggle to "just say what is on my mind". It is not that I lack facility with language, just that I am trying to convey the exact truth.
It's probably evident to anyone reading this that my conversational style is somewhat stiff and erratically paced. With practice, my speech patterns smooth out. If I spend extended periods of time alone or inside my own head, the formality is more pronounced.
Do you think that Ne is a "right-brained" thing? I've actually not thought about the functions in terms of L v R brain. If Ne is a right-brained thing, then this thinking in pictures thing is probably more of a general NP thing than specifically NTP (and yeah, yeah, potentially tert/inf Ne-ers too...). And obviously I don't think only Ne-ers will think in pictures. It certainly has something to do with it though.
I always say that my thinking is visual, but it's not visual in the sense of generating actual, concrete images to represent ideas. Usually the images are more abstract. Like, for capitalism and socialism, my mind immediately generates two boxes with the words "capitalism" and "socialism" in them. I call this more visual than verbal, though, because when it involves relationships between things, then the only way I can comprehend them is to "see" them in some sort of visual structure. Like a box connected to another box, and one box moves this way, the other moves that way.